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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from the Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 match

4 weeks ago
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Sunday’s match ended Wolves 1 Newcastle 1.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

This time it is Billy Miller:

POSITIVES

Wolves Lacking Bite

It was a fixture we hadn’t lost in the top flight since 1977.

Wolves had every opportunity to end that record but most of their shots were from distance and were either blocked or well wide.

Darlow made a couple of smart saves too but probably should have done a bit better with the strike that finally did break the deadlock. Probably didn’t help him that he had to try and peer around most of the Newcastle team as they went to try and block.

The defence were solid for most of the match, both wing-backs stuck to their jobs and all three centre-backs looked more comfortable than they do when they’ve only got one mate beside them.

Miraculous Murphy

I was considering Murphy as a positive before his goal. He didn’t do anything particularly special before his game saving free-kick, but he stuck to his job well and played some half decent passes. A clipped through ball early on, saw Wilson scampering free but the covering defender got back to snuff out the opportunity.

He delivered a couple of nice crosses in the second half but we were lacking in support to get on the end of them. The free-kick was excellent. Didn’t he come across as a sweetheart in his post-match interview too? Chuffed for the bloke.

Almiron Got A Start

Nobody excelled and Almiron was far from his best but he harassed and harried, tried to carry the ball and basically did everything Hendrick doesn’t do in a game.

He probably had the best chance in open play on the hour mark when he was found by Wilson near the penalty spot. Wolves had about a hundred players back though and blocked his effort.

He played an important role in helping keep Traore quiet once he came on. Hopefully he’s done enough to get a run in the team as he should always be in there ahead of Hendrick, Joelinton and Carroll.

NEGATIVES

An Empty Engine Room

I think I’ve mentioned injuries as a negative every time I’ve done one of these articles, so I’ll be more specific this time.

Our central midfield has been obliterated to such an extent that Steve Bruce was finally forced to play Hendrick there.

Who he was playing with, I couldn’t tell you. It seemed like everyone had a go. Fraser, ASM and Almiron all popped up there regularly and then faded away to a wing/wing back position.

You could say the team had been given artistic licence, or you could say it was a disorganised mess.

In the ten minutes leading up to Wolves’ breakthrough, we seemed to be playing with a flat back five with Fraser and Almiron either side of Hendrick in a narrow three, ASM slightly ahead and then Wilson looking as adrift and abandoned as his namesake at the end of Castaway.

At least Sean Longstaff managed a short stint off the bench and Hayden wasn’t risked and will hopefully be fit for next Sunday.

Blagging It Again

I’ve mentioned the fact that Wolves were ineffective as a positive. However, you can’t escape from our own inept performance.

We had less than a third of the shots that Wolves did, a third of the game’s possession, played nearly 300 less passes and had less accuracy with the ones we did attempt.

Credit where it’s due, we defended doggedly and didn’t give Wolves any clear-cut opportunities. But it can’t be ignored that, despite nearly all of our most creative players on the pitch, we still created little.

Karl Darlow has faced more shots than any other keeper in the top five leagues in Europe. Take that in for a second. He’s faced more shots than bottom placed, one point Fulham.

We can’t have another season of relying exclusively on a goalkeeper and ASM. We need more than that.

The Joelinton Clause

I’ve heard and seen fans speculating that Joelinton must have a clause in his contract that he has to feature in every game when fit.

His late entry today did nothing to dispel that myth or change the game.

He has featured in every single league game since he signed. He’s been better this season than last but that doesn’t take much doing.

If there is a clause it’s worrying as there may be a game when we desperately need to bring someone specific on (maybe a goalie…but then that doesn’t seem to matter) with one substitution left.

Shows how little Ashley respects Bruce’s position if he has lumbered him with a clause such as this.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 – Sunday 25 October 4.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Murphy 89

Wolves:

Jimenez 80

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Wolves 63% (65%) Newcastle 37% (35%)

Total shots were Wolves 16 (4) Newcastle 5 (2)

Shots on target were Wolves 3 (1) Newcastle 2 (1)

Corners were Wolves 2 (1) Newcastle 3 (2)

Referee: Lee Mason

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Murphy, Lascelles (Carroll 88), Fernandez, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Almiron, Fraser (Joelinton 78), Wilson, Saint-Maximin (Sean Longstaff 79)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Hayden, Manquillo, Krafth

Crowd: 00,000

(Andy Gray slaughters Steve Bruce for his appalling negative tactics after Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 – Read HERE)

(Wolves Captain Conor Coady blames referee for not beating Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s draw – Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @billymerlin

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